Health and safety training opportunities go down, whilst HSE prosecutions go up

Recently released figures by the HSE confirms that the number of prosecutions for breaches of health and safety law have trebled in the last year. To compound this, the value of the fines imposed upon those convicted are also rising. The formulas by which the HSE calculates fines to those in breach of health and safety law are now relative to the annual turnover of the business. No longer will a standard fine be applied to a breach of health and safety law, the new regulations could cause a £1m sized dent in the bank balance.


At the same time as prosecutions go up, the training opportunities for leaders of business at senior level, such as Senior Executives or Directors are being cut. The qualification criteria to enable delivery of health and safety courses, such as the Leading Safely course delivered by Safety Revolution, Oxfordshire, has risen to a level which now excludes many of the companies that have previously offered leadership health and safety training.

Trainers must now be of a board level themselves – they need to have walked the walk, before being allowed to talk the talk. Safety practitioners such as Oliver Dale of Safety Revolution are becoming few and far between, making it all the more important to ensure you engage with a suitable trainer to be sure of staying within the law and avoiding becoming one of those statistics at the HSE.

About the Leading Safety Course from Safety Revolution

Safety Revolution’s Leading Safely course is a one day IOSH accredited course designed for owners, partners, trustees, directors and all senior level executives of the agriculture and estate management industries.

The course works in conjunction with leaders to cover only what you need – your time is precious and we don’t want to take it from you. Whatever the size of your organisation, the course will show you how investing in health and safety can reap business benefits, including better productivity, increased profits, enhanced reputation and of course, a safer environment for all those on site.

Leading Safely Course Content

  • Recognising the value of strategic Health & Safety and its integration into business management systems and performance
  • Understanding your Health & Safety responsibilities
  • Appreciating the consequences of poor Health & Safety
  • Planning the overall direction for Health & Safety in your organisation
  • Understanding the importance of adequately resourcing your Health & Safety management system
  • Knowing why you should monitor and review your Health & Safety performance

Before the course, delegates run through a diagnostic questionnaire on Health and Safety leadership and the behaviours your company adapts. This then creates a personalised report based on your responses and will generate recommendations and actions to improve your Health and Safety. The assessment is a completion of personal commitment, this is a set of actions to take the following recommendations in your report and other learning, and all delegates receive certification for the course.

Fines routinely hitting senior management

As quoted by the Financial Times, “Chris Morrison, UK head of safety, health and environment at Clyde and Co said: “The data confirms what we have been seeing in practice, with the HSE displaying an increased zeal to prosecute the most senior individuals. By making senior management responsible for the health and safety failings of their business and their staff, the increased enforcement is a serious boardroom issue”

Get in touch with Safety Revolution and book your one-day senior level course today. Call 0800 0281965 or email info@safetyrevolution.

HSE Prosecutions Statistics

Financial Times Article



Prosecution of directors and managers treble in the year to March 2016

The latest HSE figures show that the number of directors and senior managers ‘successfully’ prosecuted for Health & Safety offences has trebled in the last year. Almost all cases involved either serious injury or death of an employee.

Critically the biggest impact has been on businesses in the ‘medium’ size bracket therefore potentially impacting heavily on any substantial farming business. These fines are based on turnover rather than profit. That means that the historic mitigation that profitability of a prosecuted business impacts on its ability to pay any fine has fallen away.

Thirty four of the forty six prosecuted were found guilty (a very high ‘success’ rate) and resulted in twelve prison sentences. HSE commented prosecution of directors is intended to hold them to account for their failings when we have evidence that they have breached the law, for example when the director/manager was personally responsible for the matters relating to the offence.

The salient point here – in relation to agriculture – is that it is often very much easier – due to the close nature of working relationships and the regular, direct instructions from a director to an employee – to establish the link between the director and their teams and hence to evidence the personal aspects than it is in some other sectors.

How can we achieve the best possible defence: ensure that your safety management system is regularly reviewed and updated by refreshing the policy and by a detailed and regular review of each individual Risk Assessment. A little and often approach combined with a formal, annual review that maintains a high quality body of evidence provides the best platform for evidencing compliance to a satisfactory standard.